Few Thoughts About Inappropriate Comments

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Over the past few months, I have received emails and readers have left comments about inappropriate comments and I believe that the time has come to address this issue.


I have had very liberal stance towards comment moderation. As long as they have passed Akismet and Disqus spam and profanity control, they have appeared on the site. Unlike some other sites, I have never had an issue and still don’t, when readers leave constructive criticism about the pieces that we have up here on LoyaltyLobby. Personal attacks towards authors and foul language needs to stop, however.

Everyone who has followed LoyaltyLobby for the past close to six years know that I am passionate about hotels and loyalty programs. I genuinely try to help readers with the issues they have.

I am not in love with any of the program we cover here, however. Their goal is to extract as much money from us offering as little as possible in return. Our goal is the exact opposite. Some people have lost all the objectivity with the loyalty programs to which they belong to and that is not healthy relationship to one’s wallet and comfort.

I have learned long time ago that it never makes sense trying to please everyone. If you are trying to, you don’t please anyone.

You may agree with most of what I or us write, but disagree with some and that is fine. We don’t have to agree with everything. But when we disagree, we should try to learn why. Not call someone by names or attack the author.

The Disqus that we use for comments on LoyaltyLobby has a function to vote the comment down and perhaps to flag it as well. If there are inappropriate comments, this is what you should do. It basically makes the comment(s) vanish until we have a look at it (approve or delete).


The comment above was originally left to the RANT I wrote about the “new” Hilton Copacabana hotel in Rio de Janeiro that is the old Le Meridien hotel that hasn’t gone through any refurb for probably 15 to 20 years. Many readers were arguing that my opinion was completely wrong and that it looked like a fine Hilton. And then this one reader called me a “fagget” (sic).

I probably should write at some point about living in hotels for the past 14 or so years. I know what I like and what I don’t. I hate when hotels are misbranded and this happens with all the chains and not just with Hilton.

So, I really like comments that readers leave even when they don’t agree with my conclusion especially when they are well formulated and backed up. I certainly learn from them. We have certainly made a few mistakes on the more than 10,000 pieces written in the past 6 years or so, but we try our best every day.

So, keep the comments, emails, Tweets and Facebook messages coming. We always love to hear from our readers what they like, what they don’t like and what they would like us to cover. Just remember to be civil.

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  • Mohamed Basma

    I certainly disagree with your review regarding the Hilton Copacabana,the suite looks decent,njce view,spacy,ok its outdated but we encounter thay with every brand.
    After all Hilton is not supposed yo be luxury brand eg Ritz carlton,St regis or even Intercontinental.

  • ihg newbie

    there are a couple ( or may be just one with multi IDs ) of jerkoff trolls on this site. and i am sure you know who they are. they say nothing substantive. just personal attacks and rants. their presence denigrate this site in MO. i really don’t mind if you were to ban them/him.

    • ihg newbie

      LL and DOC stand out from the rest of travel blogs for not peddling inferior sign up links. i appreciate this very much. not to mention enjoying all the articles by 3 of you. i always don’t agree however. but i do appreciate them.

      • Bob

        LL is for Loyalty Lobby, DOC is for…?

        • ihg newbie

          i don’t want to mention other site by name here. i am sure you can find it if you google.

  • Gary

    Thank you, John. Profanity is never appropriate. Let us also not forget that at times one of your “authors” has posted outright racist commentary particularly about Asians in his reviews. I and others here have asked you to address that and yet it continues. I think I can speak for most civil minded folks here that there is indeed a mile wide divide in the high value of the posts made by you, Kevin, Freddo and the careless, reckless and immature ones made by Sebastian. It’s your blog… I and many others who post negatively about Sebastian’s “contributions” do so only in the hopes of respectively making our voices heard about the nonsense we read on his sloppy work, the blatant prejudices and all what appears to be eminating from a sad and troubled fellow who is marring your brand. On the positive side, it creates lots of posts and maybe that’s your end game. My 2 cents. Thanks for everything else that goes on here.

    • Brian

      Agree. I like this site, for all its flaws. The writing is very bad and full of mistakes and there is so much unnecessary stuff on here – ever heard of ‘quality, not quantity’? We don’t need posts on here concerning news items. But I don’t come here for linguistic reasons, and I am able to filter out and ignore the junk posts. So I’ve benefitted a lot from the information about the various offers – for hotel deals, this site is probably the most comprehensive.

      BUT – please sack Sebastian! I have NEVER seen a post by him that has any point. I read some of them out of a morbid curiosity to find out what nonsense he is spouting now, but they definitely bring nothing to the table and certainly lower the overall quality of the site.

      If he is a pal of yours, please give him a few of the millions of miles and points you have and say ‘thanks for the memories’.

      • Gary

        Nicely said.

      • Rohan Relaxo

        Could not agree more.

      • Haitao Sun

        That’s not fair, over the years there are like two articles I think we’re actually informative.

      • Discus

        Well said Brian

      • Paul

        What say you John? Sebastian???

        Making a post like this and then not responding to readers just shows you don’t care.

    • ihg newbie

      like i said before, if you don’t like sebastian’s articles, don’t read them. you “waste” your time to read his articles and then bitch and moan. i am sick of your baseless and sophomoric personal attacks. grow up!

      • Rohan Relaxo

        Well if you dont like reading the “baseless and sophomoric attacks”, then DONT READ THEM! Grow up!

        • Gary

          Indeed. Sir Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”

        • ihg newbie

          unlike my case, for mao’s little red guards to read Seb’s articles, it requires act of clicking the article.

          • Haitao Sun

            I have so many questions…Who are these “mao’s little red guards” you are referring to anyway? Are you talking about Chinese? Do you honest think Maoism still exists in China? What century are you living in? We let that part of history go decades ago, why wouldn’t you? What is with you obsession with Mao?

  • Henry

    I would report author of the hate comment to the authorities of UQTR as there are bound to be rules which govern the use of university email servers.

  • SydneySwan

    I agree with John. There is no place for personal abuse – it is always an inappropriate response. I have little regard for the way Sebastian seems to stay / travel somewhere with the end goal of extracting compensation. Many have criticised him for that in a reasoned way. Some have abused him for that – that is clearly inappropriate, Sometimes he is abused for posts which are informative. It would be better if everyone plays the ‘post’ and not the writer.

    The issue of travelling with support animals (ESAs) on US flights is the subject that seems to generate the highest levels of indignation and abuse. John, if you feel the need to write about that subject again, I suggest you moderate responses to it and delete anything inappropriate.

    • cscasi

      “The Disqus that we use for comments on LoyaltyLobby has a function to vote the comment down and perhaps to flag it as well. If there are inappropriate comments, this is what you should do. It basically makes the comment(s) vanish until I have a look at it (approve or delete).”
      I believe he has said “above” you are free to vote comments down or flag them as well, if you feel they are worthy of that.

  • Leana

    I think the take away message here is that John spends 14 years in a hotel! Isn’t that cool or what! Someone mentioned in the comment not to post ‘newsy’ item, that he has to ‘filter through’ news items and that the ‘writing is very bad and full of spelling mistakes.’ Dude, seriously, go surf the BBC.

    • Rohan Relaxo

      The writing is terrible and often full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Im sorry you fail to see the point, but this is unacceptable for a site that has been up & running for many years and with over 10,000 articles published. Nobody is expecting them to hire a full time editor, but run a bloody spellcheck at a minimum!

      • Leana

        I appreciate the fair comment on your reply to my comment. My response echoes what you said above to another reader, albeit with a slight tweak. (look above what you wrote earlier should you have selective memory)

        ‘Well if you dont like reading the “terrible writing and often full of grammatical and spelling mistakes”, then DONT READ THEM! Grow up! ‘

        Have a nice life.

        • Rohan Relaxo

          If you didn’t have selective vision you would have read the comment I was responding to & seen that I was being Ironic.

          • Leana

            Just a heads up for someone who spots grammatical and spelling mistakes.

            I quote “If you didn’t have selective vision you would have read the comment I was responding to and saw/would have seen (‘..comment I was responding to and SEEN that I was being ironic.’ Your sentence is grammatically incorrect)

            Your welcome 🙂 and one proverb for you. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

            Have a nice life.

          • Gary

            I think you mean “you’re welcome”.

          • ag1tate

            “If you didn’t have selective vision you would have read the comment I was responding to & seen that I was being ironic.”

            ^That breaks down to ==> “If you didn’t have selective vision you would have read the comment I was responding to”
            “If you didn’t have selective vision you would have seen that I was being ironic.”

            The ‘would have’ preceding ‘seen’ already exists in the earlier There’s absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with or in Rohan Relaxo’s sentence, imho. (Nitpicking .might. throw up a suggestion to consider punctuation but imho it’s perfectly intelligible, and not incorrect, as-is..)

            & .You’re. welcome, too, Leana — have a lovely day!

            (..i mean it, too; being corrected online can be exasperating & eyeroll-inducing, but apart from hoping you might take a moment against hasty/kneejerk needling attack of someone whose opinion you disagree with (which, taken as just ‘learning something new/something to note’ isn’t even really a negative thing), i’d hope my little point-out doesn’t impact your day adversely at all.)

            As human beings regardless of culture or society i feel a drive toward self-improvement is a good thing; as LL has stated they enjoy reader input and are open to suggestions i don’t feel concrit like/that boils down to essentially a less-polite “please bother more (carefully?) with spellcheck and-or proofreading for grammar to improve readability; t’would raise the overall standard of the blog” deserve the same sort of ‘omg r u 4real; look at this guy folks’ reaction that other rather less substantial &/or constructive comments might get..

  • Constructive Not Crap

    Unfortunately there are a few individuals who take delight in trolling Loyalty Lobby. I, for one, have no problem with swearing (you just filter it out – it’s has no meaning than what you give it), but these trolls almost always have nothing of value/merit to say, are clearly just trying to be defamatory, and just clutter up the comments.

    Sure, if you don’t like a article, feel free not to read it any further (or the articles of a particular contributor), or if you think there is an error or mistake, to make a rational logical contribution, but 99% of the time it’s just the same trolls (under multiple handles) just being c** ts, with no other purpose.

    I don’t think every Loyalty Lobby article is amazing, sometimes I disagree with them, but in the whole I find Loyalty Lobby helpful and interesting (and let’s be honest, no travel site is without its issues, and objectively Loyalty Lobby has less than some other sites).

    Of course, one of the main objectives of trolls is to inflame, and generate commentary about them (which they get off on), so sometimes the best thing is to block, delete, ignore (and give them the attention and platform they deserve) [although few can go the full manual moderation path]

    • Gary

      So the elephant in the room…is that those with opinions like yours are ok with Asia racism? The rest of us are certain you don’t really mean that.

  • Len Gattsche

    John. Love this site. You and Sebastian write good articles that I find very interesting. And well done to Sebastian, who doesn’t get mixed up with the personal abuse the he receives.

  • Jackie Oh

    Great post! Very interesting to read about this, I appreciate all of the positive and negative comments here– as long as they are constructive. Thanks John!

  • marcford

    I found your site more helpful for batter well informed travel compare to others web site . You and your team doing very admirable Job. Just keep it same .

  • Malcolm

    A variety of opinions is what makes LL an interesting and informative site. Disagree with the contents, but when the comments becomes personal and derogatory whatever point the poster is making is lost.

  • Cameron Lindsay

    Thank you for addressing this. It is long overdue. The homophobic comments made by some posters are disgusting.

  • Leon Biesiadecki

    This person probably figured by misspelling it, it would pass the automatic screening. A post like that is done to raise a response, and the response should be to kick him out.

  • jessie

    Am a just mere (but long-time) reader over years. Whatever flaws this site shows, I appreciate all the articles and info that all the authors (including Sebastian) contribute to this site. In the end, it’s all complimentary and there are a lot of useful info here. Sure, there are controversial ones sometimes and there are a lot of aggressive comments there which i just simply pass. Personally I am totally fine with sebastian’s contribution and often find some of his articles very useful. Anyway thanks for all the authors.

    • TangaTalalag

      Quite agree

  • Gary

    Good commentary going here. I think the majority of us are NOT fine with just skipping over the Asian racial slurs. There should consequences. Saying that one should “not read” the referenced author’s posts is tantamount to actually being complicit with the racism. We agree with free speech, but there is a line that gets crossed that mandates action from the righteous. See recent news commentary about Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, Johnny Depp and the despicable Phil Montag are all good examples of when those with a microphone espouse hate, racism and vicious thinking. Not reading the posts you say is the answer? We don’t think so. John needs to take action.

  • Discus

    I joined years ago, and nothing is perfect, but I am grateful for this website. However, unfortunately I am another of those who must side on criticizing Sebastian. While there has been an obvious change to how he writes, his articles (or, rather, his conclusions) still display a degree of asinine and/or obtuse logic and – worst of all – underlying bias… to say the least. Loyalty Lobby was best before him, and your other contributor/s manage to do a far better job overall.

  • Gary


    We believe that an interim suggestion that would be a nice centrist fix for all (re the Sebastian problem) would be to have you or Kevin or Freddo review, edit and approve his posts first…checking for racism, insults re comfort animals, sexual preferences and whether the post really adds value.